Semi-New Jones Advisor

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Jun 2, 2010 10:55 pm

I would just like an honest response from some of the Jones veterans as to whether they think I have what it takes to make it with Edward Jones. 

I am 24 years old and my office is in the northeast.  My can sell was 18 months ago and I have had a very up and down career with Edward Jones.  I took over a book of approximately 5.5 million and I now have 10.3 million under management.   I open about 8 accounts per month (4 or 5 households).  Almost all my new accounts come from doorknocking and I still doorknock both first and repeat contacts.  I am currently a segment 2 advisor and my rolling average is currently 10,000 gross.  2 months ago I did 3000 gross in a month which was scary. 3 months ago I did over 20000 gross which was exciting.  

I am active in my Rotary club and have opened 3 modest sized accounts from there.  I get hardly any referrals from clients or others although i have been making a point to ask for them.  I work very hard and do my best to make 25 contacts a day (I probably make closer to 18 a day)  I don't take much personal time off as I don't have a family and distractions to concern myself with.

I am having trouble envisioning my business as it seems to be so up and down and out of my control.  I have to admit there are times when I lose faith in the edward jones model because I feel as if I have sacrificed so much and yet things are not really any easier.  Month 18 was just as difficult for me as Month 4. 

Like I said I would appreciate an honest opinion as to WHETHER I HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO MAKE IT the question may be as simple as "if i bring in 5 million (including substantial market growth) in my first year and a half am I on pace to be a successful Jones broker"  Everyone tells me in my region I am doing great and that I should keep up the good work, but I am sure you can understand my skepticism.

Jun 2, 2010 11:23 pm

If you love what you do then stay at it. It may take you a little longer then others but your goal should be to average 100k a week for 200 weeks then start backing off and decide how to run your business. If you hate going to work then it will only get worse. The funny thing about the biz is you can be on top of the world one day and in the trenches the next. Find an acountability partner and start challenging each other, heck make a game and have fun with it. I promise you are not the only one with reservations. good luck and I am not a vet but this is what I would do.

Jun 3, 2010 8:10 am

Hey Jones08,

I started about the exact same time you did. I started New/New in late 08, am a Seg 2 with only about $4 mil in so far. You are doing a very good job considering the conditions in which we started. (And looking back, although the vets in my region always tell me I have "bragging rights" because I started with ZERO accounts or assets, I would never, ever start New/New again. Not when I see Jones tripping over themselves lately to give everything that moves a $5mm to $10mm goodnight)

The question is: where would you go? What would you do? You've already demonstrated that you can do this work, that you are establishing credibility in your area (especially for someone so young), and you are starting to reach milestone-type numbers. Why start over now that you're just beginning to get traction?

I know from your age that you might be frustrated by the wild swings in production, but that is the nature of any start-up operation. That's growth. And you can't control that at this early stage. Production happens when it happens. Rollovers show up when they show up. You just need to, as Winston Churchill used to say, "Keep buggering on."

PM me if you'd like an accountability partner. I've been looking for one, as well.

Jun 3, 2010 9:33 am

Jones,

Here is what I have learned in (almost) 4 years at Jones.....

1. The work is easier AND harder than I thought.  The WORK is easier, but getting RESULTS is harder.

2. The ball doesn't really get rolling until about $15-20mm AUM of REAL assets (in other words, not CRAP assets), and maybe 3-4 years.

3. Accounts don't matter nearly as much as assets.  There are lots of variables, but I have found that my real small accounts are pretty crappy clients.  Bottom line, you have to find the money.  Don't get sucked into the "# of accounts" trap.  You can't make it only opening one new account per month (early on), but opening 10 accounts for a total of $100K does no good either unless they have strong potential.  They also take your eye off the ball.  You can't work for free all the time.

4. If you can afford the low income until you make it, you will be handsomely rewarded, both in freedom and income.

5. You MUST get some assets annuitized (MAP, Advisory Solutions, C-shares, UIT's, etc.).  Starting the month with $5-10K in fees after your first few years can be a godsend.  As I said above, if you can afford to put money into Advisory early on, DO IT.  I PROMISE you will be happy in a year or two.  It sucks for production today, but if yuo can squeek by while your standards are low, it will be the best thing for you.  Recurring income is slow to accumulate early on, but it is damn sweet once you have that income every month.  Add $2mm per year into Advisory every year, and you will have 150K in recurring revenue by 30.  Add $4mm per year, and that's $300K.

6. Set up repeatable processes.  Prospecting, appointment process, account opening, portfolio design, account reviews.

7. The first 5 years are literally about scratching and clawing for every new asset.  You can't get too discouraged early on.  Only now after almost 4 years am I starting to see stuff just "happen" (referrals, clients handing over new money unsolicited, people calling in unsoliciated because they "heard about you", clients getting laid off with 401K's, etc.) .

You are 24.  You have NO IDEA how much I wish I started in this BIZ at 24.  I am 38 and just getting started (2nd career).  You could be making a healthy 6-figure salary by 30, and your adult life has barely even started.  Get these difficult years behind you while you are young.  I spent my 20's and 1/2 of my 30's working like an absolute DOG in corporate finance.  50 hour weeks were the norm, 55-60 were common.  And those are *stressful* hours.  The stress you are experiencing right now is NOTHING compared to some careers.  Just remember that.

I am in the same region of the country as you.  Please PM me if you want to ask more questions.